NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) Veteran CBS newsman Morley Safer, a key figure in the network's signature news show '60 Minutes' for more than 46 years, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 84.
"Morley was one of the most important journalists in any medium, ever," said CBS Chairman and CEO, Leslie Moonves announcing Safer's passing. "He broke ground in war reporting and made a name that will forever be synonymous with 60 Minutes. He was also a gentleman, a scholar, a great raconteur – all of those things and much more to generations of colleagues, his legion of friends, and his family, to whom all of us at CBS offer our sincerest condolences over the loss of one of CBS' and journalism's greatest treasures."
A native of Toronto, Safer started his career in journalism as a newspaperman, reporting for outlets such as the Toronto Telegram and then later, the Canadian Broadcasting Company as a correspondent and producer.
In 1964, he joined CBS, serving first as their London correspondent and then opened the network's news bureau in Saigon in 1965 and helped to define the public's perception of the increasingly ugly conflict in Southeast Asia.
In 1970, Safer joined the '60 Minutes' team, replacing Harry Reasoner, who had departed to anchor the ABC Evening News. Safer would set a record at the network as its longest serving correspondent, announcing his retirement from the venerable news show just last week in the face of declining health.
Over the course of his long career, Safer won numerous accolades, including 12 Emmy Awards; 3 George Foster Peabody Award; a Lifetime Achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and was named a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jane, one daughter, Sarah Bakal, her husband, Alexander Bakal, three grandchildren, a sister, and brother, both of Toronto, CBS News said. – Staff Writers